Have you ever thought about how you smell when you get around other people? I’m not talking about being at the gym all afternoon, then going to church Wednesday night without taking a shower. No, I am talking about the aroma of our attitude, actions, and words. Jamie Lewis and I were talking this morning on how easy it is to have a sour aroma in our daily life. It may be because we didn’t get enough sleep, we are not feeling well, or we are just in a bad mood for some reason. Like it or not we all have put off an offensive odor of attitude at times. Believe me, I understand that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we would prefer, but it is in those moments that our FAITH can be defined. I remember making a comment during a devotional one day, “the truth is life stinks sometimes but that doesn’t mean you have to.” The way we react to our circumstances, not only affects us, but also conveys a message to the world around us. So, how do we live in a manner that we are sweet and not sour? Our passage today will explain how simply walking in love creates that sweet smelling aroma to God.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NKJV)
In my personal bible study time, I have been reading through the book of Leviticus. Time and time again God explains what he requires as a sacrifice and states that when the sacrifices are presented accordingly, they are a sweet smelling aroma to Him. Our passage explains that the sacrifice of Christ was done in love, thus fulfilling this requirement for such a sacrifice. I mean, think about it, if you truly love someone it is really hard to be sour toward that person. Today God is calling us to make sacrifices of love. We need to love God, love others, and love ourselves. I mentioned earlier that our aroma, much like a dirty diaper can clear a room, affects those around us. If we are always sour and complaining about life, what does that say to the world around us about our God that holds life in His hand? If we are sour to our neighbors, people at work, or people at the store, what reason do they have to seek the God we serve? We must understand that living a life in love is so essential to our faith. Walking in love is what God has called us to do, and it is the KEY to any evangelistic efforts. Today I want to encourage you to be a sweet smelling aroma to God despite your circumstances. Sometimes this will require a real sacrifice on your part. When you don’t feel good, when people hurt you, when you feel rejected or unappreciated sacrifice your fleshly desire to react by making a big stink and allow yourself to react in love, thus becoming a sweet smelling aroma to our God.
Dear God, the truth is Satan and this world throws us so many lemons and it is easy to become bitter. Today, God, as we reflect on this passage, I pray that through your love presented on the Cross, we can make lemonade with those lemons. We can’t do it on our own. So, God, send your spirit into ours and give us the assurance that you are in control. Allow us to feel the presence of your love and give us the strength and courage to share that love with those around us. God help us become a sweet smelling aroma to you. We pray this in the name of our sweet savior, Jesus Christ. Amen